Warrior is a 1979 arcade game and is one of the pioneers in the fighting game genre. It has been regarded as the first fighting game, however it was predated by Sega's Heavyweight Champ, released in 1976.
Developed by Tim Skelly whilst working at Cinematronics, it was released under the Vectorbeam company name shortly before Cinematronics closed Vectorbeam down; they had purchased the company in 1978. The game featured two dueling knights rendered in monochrome vector graphics and based on crude motion capture techniques. Due to the limitations of the hardware used, the processor could not render the characters and gaming environment at the same time and backgrounds were printed, with the characters projected on the top.
Originally Skelly planned for a two-player system with each player using two joysticks, one to control the movement of the player and the other controlling the player's weapon. However, financial constraints restricted the cabinet to one stick for each player and a button to switch between character and weapon modes. The sticks were produced in house and installed in cabinets in a way that players found unresponsive and difficult to use.
The cabinets and hardware were produced on a low budget and proved to be very unreliable when compared to contemporary machines. As a result, very few remain in working order, with only one known restored machine in the United Kingdom. Warrior is emulated by MAME. The game is regarded as the first of the one-on-one fighting game genre, a style of game whose popularity would not blossom until the early '90s.
- "The Making of... Warrior". (December 2006) Edge Magazine 169, pp. 101-103